New York Jets

Stephen Hill: Rookie's Big-Play Ability Makes Him Quality Fantasy WR

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: Stephen Hill #84 of the New York Jets jumps over Aaron Williams #23 of the Buffalo Bills for a touchdown during their season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 9, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Bills 48-28. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2012

New York Jets rookie Stephen Hill made his presence felt in his NFL debut, hauling in five catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns. He showed exactly why the Jets traded up to snag him in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft.

Hill averaged 17.8 yards per catch against the Buffalo Bills. He solidified his status as the team's No. 2 target, unless Jeremy Kerley moves permanently to the outside.

New York's offense may not continue its torrid pace, but someone will have to catch the ball. According to ESPN.com, Hill is only owned in 7.4 percent of leagues right now.

If you're going to take a chance on a waiver wire pickup, this should be your guy. If he were a possession receiver, that would be one thing. Hill is not. He's the Jets' best vertical threat, and that makes him a threat to score his share of touchdowns.

Hill's 6'4'' frame makes him a matchup nightmare. He's a physical presence on the outside and has the speed to get by defensive backs. He has to work on his route-running, but the Jets will leave intermediate passes to Kerley and Santonio Holmes.

Right now, they're going to tell Hill to get down the field and wait for the ball.

Sanchez still has a long way to go as a passer, but his performance in the opening week couldn't have been more encouraging. Maybe Tim Tebow's presence forced the Southern California product to finally take the next step.

He looked the part on Sunday, and he seems to have a rapport with Hill early on. That's only going to get stronger as the weeks pass, and the likelihood of claiming him on waivers will decrease with each productive game.

Don't waste any time. Hill may carry some risk, but he has a ton of potential. We knew he was raw coming out of Georgia Tech, but Week 1's stat line is exactly what made him so intriguing.

Hill is unique to the Jets offense because of his vertical abilities. He gets down the field, blows the top off the defense and attacks the ball at its highest point.

He complements Holmes and Kerley underneath and gives Sanchez a necessary deep threat.

Don't expect Hill to be your No. 1 wideout, but you should take a flyer on him. He's a perfect fit for depth, or as a quality flex player.

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